N-linked glycans with similar location in the fusion protein head modulate paramyxovirus fusion

Veronika Von Messling, Roberto Cattaneo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


N-linked glycans not only orchestrate the folding and intracellular transport of viral glycoproteins but also modulate their function. We have characterized the three glycans attached to fusion (F) proteins of the morbilliviruses canine distemper virus and measles virus. The individual Morbillivirus glycans have similar functional properties: the glycan at position 68 is essential for protein transport, and those at positions 36 and 75 modulate fusion (numbering according to the Newcastle disease virus [NDV] F protein sequence). Based on the crystal structure of the NDV F protein, we then predicted the locations of the Morbillivirus glycans: the glycan at position 36 is located in the F protein head, and those at positions 68 and 75 are located near the neck-stalk interface. NDV position 36 is not occupied by a glycan; the only glycan in that F protein head also has a fusion control function and grows from residue 366, located only 6 Å from residue 36. We then exchanged the glycan at position 36 with the glycan at position 366 and showed functional complementation. Thus, structural information about the F proteins of Paramyxoviridae coupled with functional analysis disclosed a location in the protein head into which fusion-modulating glycans independently evolved.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)10202-10212
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of virology
Issue number19
StatePublished - Oct 2003

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Immunology
  • Insect Science
  • Virology


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